During one of those “dog days of summer,” I was searching around for some inspiration; I’d been feeling blue because a friend of mine, who is in her 50s and is living with aplastic anemia (AA) had been through an incredibly tough time. After being sick and in poor health for a number of years—as a result of her being treated with methotrexate for her rheumatoid arthritis—“Jane” had been hospitalized many times and become transfusion-dependent.
Iron levels were building up in her blood stream over time, and she’d begun to suspect that she wouldn’t be around much longer—her time was limited.
Remarkably, Jane got a renewed sense of hope for her health when she started a treatment plan in a clinical trial for Eltrombopag. She responded well and, to make a long story short, is no longer dependent on transfusions.
Her platelets are stable and her counts, though low, have risen, and she’s actually feeling better.
I’m THRILLED for her beyond what I can describe in a short paragraph or two, because she’s a gal who has always taken care of her body. She exercises regularly and follows a healthy diet of fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains—as long as they are low in iron. She also gets plenty of rest and plays an active role in her healthcare.
It wasn’t her fault that she got aplastic anemia and had a less than adequate rheumatologist treat her with methotrexate, ignoring her failing labs and bloodwork. But she rose to the occasion! She got better.
Then, life kicked her in the stomach.
Her husband, who we all thought was in great health, had a sudden heart attack and nearly died. The roles were completely reversed and she has become the caregiver.
So yes, I needed some inspiration to lift my spirits. That’s how I came across this story of this amazing guy and his fiancé, named Abby. The guy was busy with his life, working and going to school, when life kicked HIM in the stomach and he was diagnosed with aplastic anemia.
Fortunately, he had an amazing group of doctors and nurses who took excellent care of him. He ended up getting a bone marrow transplant, which ultimately helped save his life.
He has gotten married and now, he’s studying to become a nurse! He wants to give back to the aplastic anemia community, hopefully working one day with a hematologist.